Governor McKee and Education Leaders Celebrate Grand Opening of the Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center for 2023-24 School Year

Published on Wednesday, September 06, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – In a momentous occasion, Governor Dan McKee, alongside Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Providence Mayor Brett Smiley, Providence Public School District (PPSD) Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez, Board President Erlin Rogel, former Councilor Nick Narducci and family, and other distinguished guests, gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center on Tuesday. State, City, and District officials joined students, staff and community members for a ribbon cutting at the newly unveiled school that marks a significant step forward in Providence's commitment to providing a high-quality education. The new Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center will serve as a district-wide swing space and is an example of 21st-century education space that is set to transform the teaching and learning experience for students and staff for the 2023-24 school year and beyond.

"Today, we witness the embodiment of my administration's dedication to providing Rhode Island students with world-class learning environments. The Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center is a testament to our commitment to their future and our commitment to learning 365 days a year and improving student outcomes," said Governor Dan McKee.

"This is more than just a building; it's a symbol of the opportunities we're creating for our students under the Providence Turnaround. Every child in Providence deserves access to a state-of-the-art education and this historic moment marks the first of three new schools we will welcome students to this year,” said RIDE Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green.

“The children of Providence deserve to learn in modern classrooms that fully meet the evolving needs of our diverse community,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “The renovations to the Narducci Learning Center restore the beauty of this historic building while providing our children with an accessible, state-of-the-art facility for them to learn and grow. I am glad that this unique space will be used as the District’s first swing space, allowing construction at other buildings to be expedited without interrupting our students education.”

“Providence students and our teachers deserve a 21st-century learning environment like the Narducci Learning Center,” said City Council President Rachel Miller. “This once dilapidated building has a new beginning as much-needed swing space so the city can rebuild our aging infrastructure and meet the needs of Providence families. I’m excited for the start of school and for my former colleague in government, Councilman Narducci, and his family.”

“To witness the transformation of this vandalized and vacant building into the state-of-the-art Narducci Learning Center is truly humbling for my family and me,” said former Councilman Nicholas Narducci. “This building has had a lasting impact on our entire family. My mother worked here in the cafeteria. My father joked that she worked for free because she helped buy lunches for kids in need. In that spirit, Providence students today have a need to be educated in schools that are safe and up-to-date with all the latest advancements we can offer. I’m incredibly proud that the investment was made in this school, which will provide our kids with a solid footing on their educational journey.”

"The Narducci PreK-8 Learning Center will serve as a district-wide swing space, allowing us to provide a high-quality education to more students while modernizing our facilities,” said PPSD Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “Our students will be excited to attend school at this state of the art, 21st century learning facility that will support world class talented teachers and staff. We appreciate the work from all our staff and partners in this tremendous occasion as we continue to make progress for our kids under the Providence Turnaround.”

"The Providence School Board is excited to celebrate the official opening of the renewed Narducci Learning Center," said Providence School Board President Erlin Rogel. "By creating more 21st century learning spaces across Providence, we're showing our kids and teachers that we care deeply about them and want to make sure their school experience is exceptional. We will continue to work collaboratively with our partners to deliver the top-notch school facilities Providence Public Schools families and staff deserve."

“Providence teachers are excited to be able to teach and engage students in a brand new, state-of-the-art Narducci Learning Center,” said Providence Teacher Union President Maribeth Calabro. “It was a pleasure to join State, City and District leaders to celebrate a project that will benefit students and teachers for years to come.”

PPSD, RIDE, and the City of Providence are hard at work investing in upgrading school buildings, classrooms, and learning spaces across the district. The average age of a Providence Public School building is almost 75 years, with many buildings over 100 years old. The Narducci project is part of a $600+ million long-term facilities plan to upgrade Providence Public Schools and raise the percentage of students learning in high-quality learning spaces from just 5% to 50%. The funding for the $600 million plan to rebuild Providence Public Schools comes in part from local and state school construction bonds passed by voters. Funding for Narducci was made available by a 2018 bond and was approved by RIDE in 2019.

Press Release Topics